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Little Rock Parks and Recreation Commission hires outdoor recreation, marketing coordinators

The Little Rock Board of Directors on Tuesday voted to delay deciding how to spend most of the federal money the city received as part of the American Rescue Plan.
Brian Chilson
Arkansas Times
Brittany Nichols and Mike Simmons have goals of getting more residents to spend more time outside and in the city's parks. Nichols and Simmons were hired by the Little Rock Parks and Recreation Commission on Tuesday.

During its meeting on Tuesday, the Little Rock Parks and Recreation Commission announced they hired Brittany Nichols to fill the position of marketing and social media coordinator for the parks.

Nichols said social media can be a way to get to visit the city’s parks.

“I’ve been in the graphics and print industry for 12 years, so I am happy to apply all of those skills and leverage them to get more people in the parks and facilities,” she said.

Nichols said right now she is looking at the social media pages that are currently being used by the city’s parks.

According to Science Direct, social media can increase the interest people have in the outdoors.

Prior to being named the marketing and social media coordinator for the parks, Nichols was sustainability educator for the City of Little Rock, where she communicated sustainability policies and concepts to businesses and residents, according to Nichol’s Linkedin page.

Also during the meeting on Tuesday, Mike Simmons was hired as the outdoor coordinator for the Commission. At the meeting, Simmons laid out his plan and goal for the Commission.

“Right now we’re offering some programming looking for collaboration, looking to expand the offerings. Everything from simple walks in the park to working with local businesses to reach out and get our citizenry outside and unplugged,” he said.

Simmons previously worked at the Lake Nixon Outdoor Center as the assistant director and camp director, according to his Linkedin page. He has also worked at the 4-H Center.

The Arkansas Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan done by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, found the main barriers to residents spending more time outside was income inequality, feeling unsafe, lack of free time, physical impairment and not having anyone to go with.

The role of the Little Rock Parks and Recreation Commission includes advising the city on operation and maintenance of the Parks and Recreation department and implementation of the Master Parks Plan, according to the Commission’s website.

Ronak Patel is a reporter for Little Rock Public Radio.